Disinfecting Grooming Equipment From Contagious Mange in Dogs

by Naomi Millburn
    Sarcoptic mange is often referred to as "scabies."

    Sarcoptic mange is often referred to as "scabies."

    Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Mange is a skin ailment that occasionally appears in canines. The disease is a result of the presence of little parasitic mites. Two distinct kinds of mange frequently affect dogs -- sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange. Sarcoptic mange is an extremely infectious condition. Not only is it contagious to dogs, it's also contagious to people. Demodectic mange, on the other hand, isn't contagious.

    Since sarcoptic mange is so contagious, it can easily be spread between canines. If you have multiple dogs in your household, shared grooming tools such as clippers, scissors and brushes can easily spread the disease between your pets. This is why it's extremely important to never allow dogs contact with items that are potentially infected with mange, period.

    Sarcoptic mange mites are capable of staying alive in their surroundings, although typically for a short period of time, according to Ian Spiegel, a veterinary dermatologist. Because the pesky mites can stay alive for a little while, careful and thorough disinfection of all objects in an infected dog's living quarters is absolutely vital. Grooming tools, food bowls, collars, toys, blankets and beds all require disinfection, to start. It's also vital to disinfect all floors. While sarcoptic mange mites generally die rapidly, they sometimes call for upward of two months to fully exit environments that haven't been disinfected, whether they're surviving on grooming equipment, the floor or anything else.

    Ask your veterinarian about safe, dog-friendly disinfectants to use to cleanse your dog's infested grooming equipment. Your vet might suggest a bleach solution with sufficient dilution as a disinfectant. If so, use the bleach solution to scour your cutie's brushes, combs and trimmers. Then rinse the tools exhaustively. Once you're done rinsing them off, air dry them. When bleach solutions are involved, making sure to eliminate all traces afterward is key. Never use any type of disinfectant on your pet's grooming tools unless you have prior veterinary approval.

    Dogs spend a lot of time in their beds, whether they're sleeping or simply lounging around. If one of your pooches has mange, keep the rest of your canine crew safe as can be by routinely disinfecting all of his bedding. Mixing bleach and hot water generally works well for this purpose, says veterinarian Ernest Ward of the VCA Animal Hospitals website. Shampoos that fight scabies work well, too. If you can, however, throw out your infected dog's bedding instead. Putting infected bedding in the garbage is usually optimal for keeping your household pets free of the frustrating external parasites. If you're worried that one of your dogs caught sarcoptic mange from another, be attentive to symptoms that could potentially signify the problem. These include intense scratching and chewing of the skin, missing clumps of fur and even possible skin infection. Veterinary care is necessary for all dogs with mange.

    Photo Credits

    • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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